Meanwhile…Micah and Mom time at home

I tried to make time with Micah special while Ethan was down in Texas with his dad. We both tend to really enjoy time at home, so it felt hard to make that feel special, but he told me many times that he was having a great time. He did say at one point, “this weekend is taking such a long time…in a really good way.” So, hopefully he meant that last part. =D We enjoyed his favorite meals, did a workout together, and went to the Farmer’s Market after church. And on Saturday we spent a good chunk of time down at the park for our Foundations/Essentials Kick-Off picnic in the park with a bunch of friends. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because selfies are not my thing and I try not to have my phone by me much when hanging one on one.

I’ll include these pictures from opening birthday presents one morning this week because they feature Micah and me. =)

A Very Special Weekend

Mikey had been mulling over this concept for years – how to move the boys towards manhood as they matured. He wanted to be incredibly intentional around raising our boys to embrace their manhood with courage and character. His vision was to have a night away in the mountains with Ethan and some of his important spiritual role models. He had been mentioning little things off and on over the past few months to Ethan about it, without giving any details. When the day finally arrived, he sent E an email and told him to be packed for a night away by 11 am. I was then to take him out for lunch to talk to him about the ways I admire him and how my role will change in his life over time, starting with this day. (Meanwhile, Mike was picking up my parents from the airport and arranging things so that my Dad could get to the mountains with Uncle Joel.) We had a great time together and I only barely cried while praying with him.

Next, Ethan and Mike drove up to the mountains where he moved from room to room discovering different men that had come up there to speak into his life. He was shocked! I won’t be able to do this weekend justice, nor do I think this is the place to elaborate. Suffice it to say, it will not be forgotten. He treasured this time and learned much.

It’s humbling to realize how many amazing people we have in our lives; each of whom play a different role. We are thankful to be raising these young men with the help of such a beautiful village, near and far (some are featured here and others aren’t, but we are thankful for each person who loves this young man fiercely). And I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have such an intentional partner. He makes this journey a lot less daunting and a whole lot more fun. So thankful.

This guy is something special. By the grace of God, he’s going to be a part of the change we all want to see in this world.

Ethan becomes a teenager

As we often (but not always, as you’ll see below) do, we snapped a mama-and-me picture of Ethan’s final night as a twelve-year-old. I thought it might be fun to show each year leading up to this one. These start in 2009 and lead up to the present year.

Much of Ethan’s birthday wishes involved outdoor things (birding) and good food. We had a mostly rainy day that day, so we ended up doing a lot of ping pong in the garage. Later in the afternoon Ethan and I biked over to the pond for some birding and basketball.

Ethan was incredibly grateful for all of the calls, cards, videos and gifts that were showered upon him. Our highlight was watching his grateful and overwhelmed face when he opened his gift from us – a new camera. Lots of tears were shed, by more than just me.

This guy is incredibly sweet and intelligent. He’s got a passion for birds and photography. He also seems to love learning new things (particularly about places in the world), playing outside, and doing Krav Maga. We’re really proud of the young man he already is and who he is becoming. It’s been a gift to have the opportunity to raise him.

Micah’s 10 Year Trip

A few years ago my parents came up with an idea to take each of their grandchildren on a special trip when they are 10 years old. Each grandchild will have the chance to come up with their dream trip. (Ethan chose Philadelphia). Micah chose to stay a lot closer to home by exploring castles in Colorado. He knew that they wouldn’t be like the medieval castles in Europe, but he was pretty excited to get to see them. He was a little more apprehensive about this trip and made a couple calls to check in with us over his time, but overall he had a wonderful time and he was SO thankful for the opportunity.

Hopefully I can do another post sometime with the pictures he took (which were many!), but this is what we got from Grandpa. They visited three castles together, including staying on the grounds at Glen Eyrie. His favorite castle was Bishop castle – a very unique spot!

Miramont Castle was probably the least exciting to Micah, although he enjoyed dressing up like a firefighter.

And lastly, here’s Glen Eyrie, where they did a guided tour of the castle, did a scavenger hunt, and saw wild turkeys (among other things):

When he returned home after his night away, we enjoyed hearing all about it and seeing all of his pictures. He got a big kick out of two tourists at Glen Eyrie who were taking lots of selfies. He laughed so much telling us about it and then wanted to take some of his own (thus the pictures that follow).

The following night E and I got to join the three of them on one final stop at a “castle” in North Denver. We arrived at sunset and enjoyed walking around the grounds outside.

We are SO thankful that the boys have opportunities like this one with people they love.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for taking Micah on this trip!

Grandpa and Grandma in town

The following day, my parents drove into town to spend the next *almost* two weeks with us. Mike traveled to Minnesota twice during that time, but we all got to spend some time together over their trip. Additionally, Micah went on his 10-year-old-adventure-trip while they were here (more on that in the next post). They experienced some typical Colorado weather – we had 82 degrees on one day and then got about 6 inches of snow. We enjoyed spending time together, E and Grandpa (primarily – although I think Micah may have ventured out once and I did as well) did a lot of birding, and we did various projects around the house (including planting a tree from my neighbor, painting the laundry room, my dining room table again, and the front door!) We ate lots of yummy food, including having Mel and Joel over for dinner once and my parents making us fish reubens.

Pictures below feature getting a tree from our neighbor, art time, reading, and playing LEGO.

Most days included some amount of computer time to edit pictures:

We played a few games, enjoyed tasty meals (indoors and outdoors), and got out for walks:

We experienced a big snow storm which took down lots of branches. Some people enjoyed this more than others. And the following day required quite a bit of clean up.

We also had a little phData fashion show. Mikey brought home many shirts for us, including one sweater which would be promptly returned.

I got hives after my retreat and dealt with them while my folks were here. I’m thinking they were a result of lots of hiking in tighter clothes in the sunshine and heat, but it’s hard to say anything for sure. They were miserable, but I was thankful to have the distraction of my parents around so I wouldn’t dwell on them too much. This meant I preferred to keep things pretty low key. We were able to do the boys’ final piano lesson online (followed by playing with Grandma – Ethan was getting ready for playing at Long Scraggy – our church camp in the mountains – and Micah enjoyed learning Heart and Soul – see video here) and had Krav Maga in the park that week.

Coming up next: Micah goes on a castle adventure in Colorado with his grandparents to celebrate being 10!

Occasionally both boys ask to do a little birding excursion. This day was particularly fun for them as they did some birding together while I took a walk nearby. We set a meet up time and they honored it wonderfully.

I snapped this one while Micah was preparing for his Faces and Places presentation. He just looked so old! And then here’s some pictures of him actually doing it in the park at our end of the year party. And here’s our little Foundations class from this year. Such a sweet group of kids!

The following day was Mother’s Day. We enjoyed a beautiful worship service, had bagel breakfast sandwiches on the deck, and then headed out for a new hike. That evening we played some basketball at a nearby park and ordered some take out for dinner. It was a great day!

Ethan finished up his testing the following week and Micah did a few of his, too. (He still has a few more to go.)

Next up – this mama goes on a retreat and the boys have a weekend with Daddio.

We celebrated Earth Day by doing some work in our yard. The boys planted some seeds for attracting birds. We are feeling hopeful that we didn’t do it too early in the season…but we shall see. Over the weekend when I had other plans, the boys all went to the park to pick up trash.

The boys are still enjoying Krav Maga twice weekly. I grabbed a video (I think you need an instagram account to see it) and pic from their Krav Maga instagram site to share here. And thought this one was cute of the guys waiting for the teen class to be over so that they could join in. And one of the days some of our friends came over afterwards and they made videos of themselves fighting. This is them watching the video together on Ethan’s camera.

Since the last post, Ethan has officially finished his seventh grade year – Challenge A. We had our last community day (we dressed up as book characters again for fun) and now he has one final math lesson to do and testing to complete. Micah finished his CC a few weeks ago, but is still working on finishing his math lessons. He will read his paper on William Wallace at our end of the year party this coming weekend and has been practicing over the past couple of weeks. He practiced reading it to Grandma on Zoom. We are also doing lots of reading and spelling and various other things that I just never have time to teach during the bulk of the school year. He will also do testing this year (we’re doing it yearly, although it’s not technically required). Micah enjoys playing school while we do our regular work load – this involves me sitting at my desk and waiting for him to raise his hand to answer my questions.

Ethan has gotten out a few more times for birding with me. I go walking and he takes pictures of birds. It’s been working well. =D

E had his final youth group event for the school year – the families got to go up to Long Scraggy for an afternoon and eat and play. E and Micah even got to learn how to shoot guns. We stopped by to say hey to Reggie on our way back down the mountain and he snapped this picture of us by his tree.